Keegan meets with City fans

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The Independent Online

The Manchester City manager, Kevin Keegan, made a surprise appearance at a fans' meeting on Tuesday night in an attempt to ease their concerns.

The Manchester City manager, Kevin Keegan, made a surprise appearance at a fans' meeting on Tuesday night in an attempt to ease their concerns.

Keegan turned up unannounced at a monthly meeting of the influential Prestwich and Whitefield Branch of the City Supporters' Club, accompanied by the City chairman, John Wardle, and Trevor Sinclair and listened to the fans' criticisms.

The trio were at Heaton Working Men's Club for almost two hours, during which time Wardle played down fears of financial meltdown should City drop back down.

"Like any household, we have bills to pay," he said. "We have a mortgage and as long as we can pay it, we will be OK."

Keegan was the focus of attention, answering all questions in his usual forthright manner. It was the type of gesture that has made Keegan so popular with the fans during almost three years at the helm.

The senior players persuaded their team-mates to give up their day off in exchange for extra training on Monday and, after talks between players and coaching staff, Keegan is sensing a renewed determination.

"We had a good chat earlier in the week when I asked the players what we could do differently and I got some good feedback from that," he said. "The spirit in the camp is still good but I am hoping this week can be the defining moment in our season."

City will spend more time than usual going through videos, both of themselves and the opposition. They will also gather at the club's Carrington training ground every day to ensure they are fully prepared to face Leicester City on Saturday.

"When you have had the run of results we have had and are in the situation we are now, you have to go right back to basics," he said. "The players said they didn't feel like they had enough energy on Saturday. It's nothing to do with fitness but more the mental side of it. Not getting the results they have deserved, not getting a result for a couple of weeks and not even being able to put a run of two wins together can eat away at a player. The only thing left then is to try to build them back up again."

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